A ameaça de uma força de trabalho espectral

ALIEN-NATION: ZOMBIES, IMMIGRANTS, AND MILLENNIAL CAPITALISM, de Jean e John Comaroff, fala do ressurgimento de histórias sobre zumbis na África do Sul no contexto de alta liberalização econômica pós-apartheid.

O mais interessante são as comparações entre zumbis e trabalhadores precários e imigrantes. Zumbis na África são mortos que retornam à vida (ou que são levados à morte) para que se tornem escravos trabalhadores a serviço de quem os enfeitiçou.

Numa economia neoliberal com alto índice de desemprego, precarização e condições de trabalho desreguladas, zumbis são os trabalhadores exaustos após uma intensa jornada, ou imigrantes (incapazes de falar corretamente, como os zumbis) que fazem desaparecer os trabalhos que estavam lá e que enriquecem seus patrões magicamente.

There can be no denying the latter-day preoccupation with zombies in rural
South Africa.25 Their existence, far from being the subject of elusive tales
from the backwoods, of fantastic fables from the veld, is widely taken for
granted. As a simple matter of fact. In recent times, respectable local news-
papers have carried banner headlines like ‘‘ ‘Zombie’ Back from the Dead,’’
illustrating their stories with conventional, high-realist photographs 26; simi-
larly, defense lawyers in provincial courts have sought, by forensic means,
to have clients acquitted of murder on grounds of having been driven to
their deadly deeds by the zombification of their kin;27 and illicit zombie
workers have become an issue in large-scale labor disputes.28 Public culture
is replete with invocations of the living dead, from popular songs and prime-
time documentaries to national theatrical productions.29 Not even the state
has remained aloof. The Commission of Inquiry into Witchcraft Violence
and Ritual Murders, appointed in  by the Northern Province adminis-
tration to investigate an ‘‘epidemic’’ of occult violence, reported widespread
fear of the figure of the zombie.30 The latter, it notes in a tone of ethnographic
neutrality,
is a person who is believed to have died, but because of the power of a
witch, he is resurrected . . . [and] works for the person who has turned
him into a zombie. To make it impossible for him to communicate with
other people, the front part of his tongue is cut off so that he cannot
speak. It is believed that he works at night only . . . [and] that he can
leave his rural area and work in an urban area, often far from his home.
Whenever he meets people he knows, he vanishes.31
Speechless and unspeakable, this apparition fades away as soon as it
becomes visible and knowable. It is a mutation of humanity made mute.
The observations of the commission are amply confirmed by our own
experience in the Northwest Province since the early s; although our
informants added that zombies (dithotsela; also diphoko)32 were not merely
the dead-brought-back-to-life, that they could be killed first for the purpose.
Here, too, reference to them permeates everyday talk on the street, in private
backyards, on the pages of the local press, in courts of law. Long-standing
notions of witchcraft (boloi) have come to embrace zombie-making, the
brutal reduction of others—in South Africa, largely unrelated neighbors—
to instruments of production; to insensible beings stored, like tools, in
sheds, cupboards, or oil drums at the homes of their creators.33 In a world of
flextime employment, it is even said that some people are made into ‘‘part-
time zombies,’’ whose exhaustion in the morning speaks of an unwitting
nocturnal mission, of involuntary toil on the night shift.34
Thus do some build fortunes with the lifeblood of others. And, as they
do, they are held to destroy the job market—even more, the very essence
of self-possessed labor—in the process. Those typically said to conjure up
the living dead tend, unsurprisingly, to be persons of conspicuous wealth;
especially new wealth, whose source is neither visible nor readily explicable.
Such things, of course, are highly relative: in very poor rural communities,
where (almost) all things are relative, it does not take a great deal to be seen
to be affluent. In point of fact, those actually accused of the mystical manu-
facture of night workers, and assaulted or killed as a result, are not always the
same as those suspected: much like peoples assailed elsewhere as witches
and sorcerers, they are often elderly, relict individuals, mostly female. Note:
Mostly, not all, although there is a penchant in much of northerly South
Africa to refer to anyone alleged to engage in this kind of magical evil as
‘‘old women.’’ 35 Conversely, their primary accusers and attackers, more often
than not, are young, unemployed men.36

Uma das coisas mais marcantes é que o zumbi é sempre o outro, não importando tanto a sua real condição de humanidade (não-humano é sempre o outro, sobretudo). Nesse sentido, na aproximação com os pós-humanos, zumbis não seriam eles,, que transcenderam a humanidade, mas os outros, que permaneceram sem alterações e gradativamente deixam de ter uma racionalidade compreensível a aquele que deu o salto evolutivo.

A referência a imigrantes e trabalho é frequente também nos filmes de Romero, seja de modo direto ou implícito. Além disso, há a questão das tentativas de humanização, de domesticação, seja para o trabalho (Bub?), para a convivência social ou pela memória do ente querido falecido (Survival of the Dead).

Assim abrem-se as questões de divisão social e apropriação e divisão de trabalho para pós-humanos e humanos.

A explorar, outros textos acadêmicos interessantes sobre zumbis e capitalismo http://zombieacademy.wordpress.com/zombie-research/

Um comentário sobre “A ameaça de uma força de trabalho espectral

  1. Em jornalismo, no estudo da recepção, estão estudando o “efeito terceira pessoa” (third person effect). Uma campanha qualquer, publicitária, ou muito persuasiva, terá sempre mais efeito sobre outro do que sobre mim. E uma campanha supostamente boa (despoluição do rio, contra a violência) terá sempre mais efeito sobre mim do que sobre os demais. O inferno são os outros.

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